Atlanta fans have dropped interest with the team over the past year, defaulting more than $32 million worth of personal seat licenses at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
According to data retrieved by the Journal-Constitution from the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, buyers have walked away from thousands of seats, including $7 million in defaults during the 2019 fiscal year. These numbers represent the remaining amount that fans owed after deciding to quit making payments on PSLs that were purchased before the stadium opened in August 2017. Originally, the PSLs ranged in price from $500 to $45,000 and are often paid-off over multiple years. The fan now loses the money they put toward the PSL and the team loses a season-ticket holder.
The records revealed that $239.5 million in purchases were made by fans ahead of the stadium’s opening, and of that amount, $184.3 million had been paid as of June 30,2019. After the $32 million in defaults, $77.3 million is still outstanding, the Journal-Constitution notes. The records, however, didn’t show how many PSL sales were made after the stadium opened, as they were not reported to the state agency by the team.
Falcons Vice President of Sales and Service Don Rovak told the Journal-Constitution that the Falcons sold about 9,000 new seat licenses since the stadium opened, and starting next month, they expect to have at least 2,500 more seat relocations this year. Those who are unable or unwilling to pay their PSLs anymore have the opportunity to sell them to someone else, should they choose.
The increase of defaults could stem from various different reasons. While the Falcons didn’t announce actual attendance numbers in 2019, but in 2018, attendance numbers from the GWCCA showed that the team brought in 9,000 fewer fans per game than announced and Atlanta United drew in 6,000 fewer fans per game than announced. However, the team’s actual ratings are only partly to blame; many PSL holders noted that they are cutting the cord for personal reasons, including moving away or growing older.